Mobile learning reaches remote classrooms in Swat, Pakistan

Photo: Pakistan mobile learning project: Allama Iqbal Public School and College located at Kanju village, Swat District (Qatar Foundation/ROTA).

 

The Swat region of Pakistan is largely remote and has limited or no access to the internet and an unreliable supply of electricity. In order to provide the region’s students with access to digital learning materials, a solution that could operate off-grid was needed. COL’s Aptus system is just that: portable and designed to allow users to connect to digital learning platforms and access course materials without the need for grid electricity or internet access. The opportunity for customised, self-paced learning, as presented by Aptus, also allows students who may miss classes to catch up more easily by accessing materials and following lessons digitally via their own mobile devices.

The Qatar Foundation: Reach Out to Asia, in collaboration with the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), ran a project between January and March 2016 using Aptus in Allama Iqbal Public School and College Kanju Swat, which allowed boys, grades 8 to 10, to access electronic learning materials from a local server without having to connect to the internet. Children from grade 10 had one tablet for each child, while children from grades 8 and 9 shared a tablet i.e. two children shared one tablet.

Results from a study of the effectiveness of the project revealed that there had been a marked improvement in academic performance, with children earning significantly higher post-test scores than pre-test scores. The children and parents involved also noted that the project increased their knowledge on the use of tablets for learning, and parents and teachers shared that the mobile learning project increased the children’s interest in studying.

Read the full report on COL’s Open Access Repository: Do Tablets and Aptus Contribute to Improved Learning Outcome? Results from an applied research project in Swat Region, Pakistan